Don’t look back

It can be a tricky thing when you first see the film someone has made of a book that you loved.  Sometimes they interpret it brilliantly and you breathe a sigh of relief. Sometimes it is possible for film makers to break a story completely – to destroy the very essence of what made you love it and leave you feeling betrayed (I can take these things quite personally!) But more often than not there is a middle ground where in order to adapt the book into film they may walk the line of editing out some elements or adding in something to set a scene or alter the pace. I was thinking about the opening scene of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie where the Pevensie family are running from the house towards the air-raid shelter as bombs fall around them.  This scene isn’t in the book but it gives us the back story and setting for the movie. It also introduces us to the characters.  Edmund is fleeing down the garden with his siblings but then he turns back – he goes back into the house to get a photo of his dad. Peter goes after him and they are nearly killed as a bomb hits nearby, Peter is furious at his brother’s stupidity but Edmund cared more about what he was losing than the reality of his situation and potential harm.

This week I’ve been looking at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah! What a sobering tale it is. God takes sin seriously and these cities were so corrupt that He wiped them out by fire and sulphur raining down (incidentally did you know sulphur has a blue flame?). We see God’s grace in answering Abraham’s prayer from the previous chapter by sending angels to rescue Lot and his family.

“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying ‘Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’  When he hesitated, the men grasped his hands and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them to safety out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said , ‘Flee for  your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!'” Genesis 19:15-17

Even after this Lot is still negotiating the terms of his obedience but God mercifully gives him yet more chances. The Angels tell them to flee and not to look back;

“But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt!” Gen 19:26

I kept thinking about the phrase “don’t look back.”  Paul talks a lot in the New Testament about fleeing from sin.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. – 1 Corinthians 10:13-14.

Romans 2:4 also talks about how God’s kindness is intended to lead us to repentance. Repentance (from the Greek word metanoia) means a change of mind and implies a turn around and a change of  direction. And in this case towards God. It seems crazy that Lot needed to be physically pulled away from his destruction. Even as they were fleeing for their lives, being saved from judgement Lot’s wife still looks back.  I don’t want to be someone who is looking back.  I don’t want live looking over my shoulder out of nostalgia or with rose-tinted glasses or with regret. I don’t want to live with compromise. I want to turn my back on sin and flee. I want to move forward with my eyes fixed on Jesus and keeping my face turned towards the race ahead of me.  So here’s to running without hesitation, being led by the hand and to no looking back!

Thanks for reading, love Rach x

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Katy’s post on this story is here; Forward not Back

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